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President's Youngest Brother Tours East Berlin

Feb. 23, 1962 - President Kennedy’s youngest brother, Edward (pictured with interpreter), toured East Berlin today, and the Communist authorities promptly claimed a political triumph in his visit. The East German press agency, A.D.N., said that Mr. Kennedy, in entering and leaving East Berlin, “respected in every way the sovereignty of the German Democratic Republic [East Germany].” Refusal to recognize the East German Government is a basic feature of U.S. policy. U.S. officials scoffed at the idea that Edward Kennedy’s crossing of the wall that divides Berlin had any political implications. They noted that many Senators and Representatives of both the Democratic and Republican parties had done so. However, an official said, after reading the A.D.N. dispatch: “We were wrong. The visit boomeranged.” Later the U.S. mission issued a statement on behalf of Gen. Lucius D. Clay, President Kennedy’s personal representative. “I asked Edward Kennedy to go to East Berlin,” the statement said. “I wanted him to have the chance to see the contrast between the two parts of the city himself.” Edward Kennedy met his brother Robert, the Attorney General, and his wife when they arrived for an official visit yesterday. Edward, who is on a private tour of Europe, accompanied his brother on several official occasions and drove in the Attorney General’s caravan, waving at crowds. Regarding East Berlin, Edward Kennedy said that “the faces show the despair.” He said he found the area “sterile,” with “no life, no action.”

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